Imagine just fully leaning into your comic origin?
Just taking everything about those stories and saying “HEY! This’ll totally work on the big screen!”.
And when those stories are about a man who’s half-Atlantean, can talk to fish, rockets through water at supersonic speeds and yells out “CHEEHOO!”, then kudos to you.
And to that I say, kudos to you James Wan.
After learning that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) finds himself caught between a surface world that ravages the sea and the underwater Atlanteans who are ready to revolt, led by his half-brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson).
When you think about it, especially with his past so heavily tainted as the butt of all jokes in DC, Aquaman was always going to be swimming against it.
But I tell you what…his film is RIDICULOUSLY fun!
Like I said, imagine leaning into your comic origins? And Wan absolutely does so with aplomb; It’s significance wholly supported when they showed Arthur’s classic orange and green costume in action.
Momoa for me personally, has had this leading man tag on him for awhile. So to see him lead, and have him supported by an outstanding cast, is exciting as he pulls it off. Uncertain of his lineage and the means to rule, he plays the ever-reluctant King well.
With Patrick Wilson playing the incumbent Orm, a character that will no doubt draw Loki-like comparisons; Nicole Kidman as their mother, Queen Atlanna, and Amber Heard as Mera, who thankfully get some of the best action in the film and aren’t just background fodder; This new family of ocean-dwellers is rounded out by the mentor-ship of Willem Dafoe and the fatherly love of Temuera Morrison. And yes, Aquaman might just be Maori in this continuity.
Oh! And Yahya Abdul-Mateen II‘s Black Manta is excellently delivered; That silly helmet? You will come to fear it!
Placing Arthur into a world much like our own, where we dare pollute our oceans, it’s under the surface where what may be this year’s best fantasy film lives.
Gloriously colored ocean floors come to life as our heroes literally fly through it, with a kind of implicit and more forceful nature that somehow makes Superman’s flight look dull.
Epic battles with alien creatures that come from the depths, it all cascades toward an enormous battle that the previous DC films have yearned for. Heck, it might even be bigger than some of battles we’ve seen from Marvel!
Aquaman’s greatest power ends up coming from its unashamedly confident delivery of the stories it’s derived from.
A fishboy becomes a fishman, who rides a wave of wacky action and humour that ends up propelling it to the top as one of the standouts in the DC Universe.
Much like delicious fish sticks, give me more AQUAMAN as soon as possible because I know what she ordered, and it was not the fish filet. It was this wonderful film about a fishman.